LET THE TOURNAMENT BEGIN: Lady Monarchs' Open Practice Day

March 22, 2008
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

March 22, 2008


Head Coach Wendy Larry

Opening Statement:
"The saying goes `there's no place like home.' We'll reserve judgment. We're anxious to play in another NCAA Tournament. We're excited about the opportunity to be in Hampton Roads and we're hopeful the Hampton Roads people will kind of wrap their arms around this event."

On having more responsibility playing at home:
"I think there is more responsibility to things that occur prior to the event as far as try to promote the event. I would say you have an obligation almost to try to get to as many television and radio stations as you can and talk to people about the event and speak to as many groups as you can about the event, so I would say there is a whole lot more for the coaching staff, probably more than for the players themselves. In the past, the home event for us we treated it like a regular season game; we won't do that any longer. We'll actually treat the women's basketball program here at Old Dominion just like they were a visitor."

On what sticks out about Liberty after looking at film:
They have tremendous chemistry and that's certainly a similarity and they have great size and they play well together and they have select transition that's very effective and they have a nice inside-out game with several people that can shoot the ball effectively from long ball and certainly several that can score paint points at will."

On making the match-up with Liberty a regular series:
"There's really been no discussion about a home and home and certainly we would be open to that discussion. For some reason, I think that we've been to Blacksburg and to Charlottesville and we have a home and home with both of those opponents and we've gone to Richmond and to George Mason and VCU, so we've kind of gone around the entire spectrum of the state but for some reason Liberty has never been a home and home."

On seeing a team like Liberty "climb up the ladder" in women's basketball:
"I just think it's the story of the women's game. It's gratifying when there are a number of teams that climb that ladder. I think we've gone from basically a 10-team tournament to a tournament right now, where we are even seeing upsets in seeds already today. So, to me it's the growth of the game. It was just a matter of time before more than 10 schools placed an emphasis on women's basketball and we've seen a drastic change over the course of the last 10 years and specifically, the number of the BCS conferences, but most importantly, from programs like Liberty, from programs like Old Dominion to still maintain some type of regional and national presence in the game. I think it's fantastic."

On how depth is not only important to the team, but the toll it takes on the opponent:
"If you look statistically, certainly are best percentage shooter comes off the bench and I think that Jessica Canady has pushed our transition to a different level at times. She is deceivingly quick. She has an incredible first step and she just is a workhorse. So, we've used her in some capacity of bringing that second wave that I think Shahida [Williams] was referring to. Certainly, we've shoveled a number of different people into different spots as well. Shahida Williams at the four-spot and go with Shadasia Green, Jasmine Parker with either T.J. [Jordan] or Jazzmin Walters at the point and then push it to a different speed all together when you go that small and that much quicker. So, we've experimented a little bit with that. We'll certainly do that again. There's an edge to that as well when you can bring that second flow of players in at about the 15- or 12-minute mark of the second half. It's the tempo, I think, the transition tempo that will certainly determine a game like Liberty/Old Dominion. I felt strongly that, not just the tempo but the defensive presence, of the Liberty team versus the Old Dominion team. Like if we have to walk to ball up the floor and attack their containing press, I'm sure we'll be very successful, but if we get defensively a tremendous stop and rebound the basketball and get it out into transition, I think we have a number of different places we can attack their defensive transitions."

On what sticks out most about Megan Frazee from Liberty:
"It's just that she has so many multi dimensions. She's just not one-dimensional; she's just not a block-to-block type of scorer. She can face up; she can certainly go left and right. She's got great long ball range. She's got a great mid-range jumper. You get angry watching her because she does so many things well. You just get madder and madder and I think that she also is unselfish. What makes her so, so good is that she shares the basketball and has great court vision. So, not only do you have to contend with her ability to score big numbers, you have to contend with her ability to make everyone else around her that much better."

Megan Pym, senior, forward

On seeing a comparison between Megan Frazee and William & Mary's Kyra Kaylor and how it will help against Liberty:
"I think it's a great comparison. Frazee has a little bit more size than Kyra but they have very similar games with inside-outside ability. They are really tough people to guard because they have that inside game. Then she can also step back, she can attack the basket, she is a very good player. Actually, they have several good players that have a lot of size inside with great shooters and a couple of penetraters, so they're a very well rounded team."

On looking at faces or numbers when playing defense:
"We definitely look at numbers. Like I said with these triplets coming up here, definitely our defense is to defend the ball. We like to say we defend the ball. But there are times where you do need to match up against [a star player] we're looking to slow down. We can do that. That's what makes us such a strong team. We can play different styles of defense. We like to run."

T.J. Jordan, senior, guard

On Old Dominion's style and speed of play:
"We are just a good transition team; we like to push the tempo. I think [Liberty] does the same. We are just a fast team and have fast point guards that can get up and down the floor at both ends."

Shahida Williams, senior, forward

On how the depth of the team is important this time of year: "I think it's real important that we have people come off the bench and give us a spark. Last week at the CAA tournament, a couple of us played a lot of minutes during the weekend. I think by having them come off the bench it gives us a little bit of rest and will give Liberty another challenge. So, I think it can give us the advantage."